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‘Like’ Facebook stock? Experts weigh in on IPO
_ Andrew Stoltmann, Chicago-based securities lawyer and investor advocate.
“The real money in IPOs is made by the people who are buying stock privately, then selling it in the market and pocketing the difference. The average investor can’t get access to that. You need luck on your side. You could be left holding the bag after you buy high.”
_ Rob Russell, president of Dayton, Ohio-based money management firm Russell & Company.
“The business model’s not fully developed yet. Nevertheless, it looks a lot more profitable than I anticipated. With a 48 percent operating margin, that’s about double the profitability of Google when it went public. If it comes out at $35 or $40 a share, I think that’s reasonable price.
_ Tom Vandeventer, managing director of Tocqueville Opportunity Fund, New York.
“If you can own the stock for an intermediate term, I suspect you will make money. Remember, when Google went public, the stock was valued at roughly $27 billion in 2003. It reached almost $200 billion by 2007. With Facebook, you have a very high growth, early stage company that has a profitability model that will be very similar to Google‘s.”
_ Christopher Baggini, senior portfolio manager, Turner Titan mutual fund, Berwyn, Pa.
“I believe there’s a group that will buy this stock no matter how it’s priced. There’s a group _ hedge funds or other large investors _ that will buy all the social media issues because they don’t know which one will be the next Google. Looking back on the Internet days of the `90s, one Google will pay for 100 Pet.coms.”
_ Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank, Chicago.
“This filing implies Facebook is valued at $100 billion, which I think is too high. That’s about 27 times more than their 2011 revenue. But even assuming they can double revenue this year, I think it’s too high. It’s reminiscent of the valuations for stocks in the Internet 1.0 days.”
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